MMO Fan Shot: The Mets 8-9-1 Has Been Abysmal

An article by posted on May 7, 2014

New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

An MMO Fan Shot by Ryan Flanagan

Agonizingly documented to the point of nauseam, the Mets situation at shortstop is one that has frustrated Met fans to the point of complete and total state of confusion. It’s is well known, well documented, and proven in the stat line that the two-headed SS platoon the Mets have been utilizing is one that boasts AAA or AAAA+ players at-best. While their gloves for the most part are solid, their offensive production is not only bad, it’s virtually nonexistent.

Ruben Tejada and or Omar Quintanilla may be useful as a 25th man on a deep roster. They are not, however, useful as everyday shortstops on a team starved for offense. While things started bad for the Met shortstops, the situation worsened and has completely fallen off a cliff.

The shortstops aren’t the only ones not producing. The pitchers spot in the lineup has been historically bad to-date with Mets pitchers yet to get a single hit five days into May. They are now an MLB record 0-for-54 on the season.

The leadoff spot, prior to Lagares getting his shot, has likewise been void of production. The 8-9-1 turnover in the Met lineup has been as simple as a 1-2-3 inning for the opposition so far this year:

Shortstops:

In the Colorado series, Mets shortstops were an astonishing combined 0-for-18 with 4 strikeouts and 13 men left on base. Against the Marlins the futility continued going 0-for-9. That, my fellow Met fans, is beyond unacceptable. It’s borderline incomprehensible. I’ll go as far as to say it’s nearly offensive. So far this season, the two SS’s are:

  • Tejada: .179 BA, .304 OBP, .509 OPS, 4 R, 6 RBI
  • Quintanilla: .240 BA, .296 OBP, .576 OPS, 2 R, 3 RBI
  • 2014 SS Average: .194 BA, .303 OBP, .526 OPS

It really doesn’t get much worse than that. The issue is further compounded by what follows it in the order.

Pitchers:

Mets pitchers have set a new MLB high (or I guess low) for longest streak of at-bats without getting a hit. Obviously, pitchers are not relied on to be offensive contributors, but man, Mets pitchers haven’t even made things interesting. In fact, they have literally done nothing so far. They are an incredible 0-for-58 through 33 games with an .037 OBP and 3 RBI. The only word that comes to mind is “wow” and in a bad way. It’s indescribable how the Mets haven’t even accidentally had a pitcher get a hit by now. Whatever the reason, the ninth spot in the lineup is a virtual out so far this year.

Leadoff Spot:

The situation doesn’t improve much at the leadoff spot for the Mets either. However, Juan Lagares has shined since getting an opportunity to leadoff. In 28 plate appearances batting leadoff entering today’s game, Lagares is slashing at .407/.429/.474 with six doubles, a triple and a 1.142 OPS.

Terry has an unwavering admiration for Eric Young Jr. that few fans can seem to grasp. Young was back at leadoff duty to start the Miami series last night, even though Lagares had been destroying the ball in that role. But that’s another argument for another day…

EYJ has served as the primary leadoff man for the Mets this season, to a tune of a .216 BA with a .313 OBP, .581 OPS, 22 R and 4 RBI. While he is an absolute machine on the basepaths and is on pace to again steal a ton of bases, getting to first base still remains a huge issue for EY. He also has no ability to drive in runs, which has cost the Mets in many big spots. Prior to Lagares’ recent (and hopefully continued) success in the leadoff spot, the Mets have been getting little to no production from that critical spot in the lineup. Hopefully Terry has the foresight to see Lagares’ usefulness at the top of the order, but I won’t hold my breath.

Three Quick Outs:

The 8-9-1 turnover in the Mets order has been nothing short of a black hole. Averaged together, the 8-9-1 for the Mets this season (outside of pinch hitters) have contributed a combined:

.131 BA – .207 OBP – .337 OPS over 32 games

Essentially 1/3 of the Mets order has been utterly non-responsive. In the end, the Mets needs to improve this situation and fast.

One solution seems logical and that would be keeping Lagares at leadoff over EYJ. That has the potential to completely impact the lineup immediately. As for the pitchers, there may not be a single thing anyone can think of to resolve that issue beyond prayer.

However, when it comes to the shortstop, Stephen Drew is one option who remains available and could certainly provide more spark and give the Mets some proven production at a critical position. Is there any chance the Mets pick up the phone and give Boras a call? Or they can make a call to Wally Backman in Las Vegas and bring up Wilmer Flores who is already on the 40-man roster anyway.

The 8-9-1 has truly been dreadful and suffocating. We need to address this like yesterday.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Ryan Flanagan on May 6th. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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